Three Seek Mayor’s Seat In Paden City
(Editor’s Note: The Wetzel Chronicle mailed questions to all Paden City political candidates. Their responses are printed in a simple question and answer format.)
Paden City will hold its municipal election Thursday.
The only contested race is for the mayor’s seat. Incumbent Bill Fox, Clyde Hochstrasser, and Cindy L. Slider all put their names on the ballot for the position.
Fox is the current mayor of Paden City.A graduate of West Virginia Northern Community College with an Associates Degree in Pre-Business, Fox was elected Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges.He was employed in the chemical and aluminum industries for a total of 47 years and retired from Ormet in 1996.He worked as a union representative as well as management at Ormet in instrumentation, electrical, mechanical, safety, and health departments.Fox is a veteran of the USAF 1951/1954 and served in Korea from 1952/1953. He is a member of organizations including: American Legion Post 86, Elks Lodge #333, Masonic Lodge #39, Grand Chapter of WVRAM #27, and Knights Templar Commandery #14.Fox is also president of Fox’s Enterprises.Bill and his wife Susan (high school sweethearts) attend the Paden City Christian Church where he teaches Adult Sunday School Class and serves as deacon, trustee, and treasurer. Bill and Susan are parents of David, Michael, Barbara, William, and have five grandchildren.
Hochstrasser has been a resident of the community of Paden City for the last five years, two of which he has spent as a City Council member.
He has been employed at Ormet Corporation for the last 31 years. He is currently a welder at Ormet and a licensed contractor and plumber in the State of West Virginia. Hochstrasser is also the owner of C&H Construction, specializing in commercial and residential building and remodeling, a local business located in the community of Paden City.
He is a member of the First Christian Church in New Martinsville. He is also a member of the Eagles in Paden City and a member of the Elks in Sistersville.
His educational background includes one year of welder training at Belmont Technical College and two years in computer programming and microcomputer repair from McGraw Hill.
Slider’s previous job experience includes work with the Union Carbide Crompton Corporation and 15 years as a chemical fire fighter. She’s also a master electrician, pipe fitter, and insulator. Her educational background includes one year’s training in psychology at West Virginia Northern Community College, and West Virginia University’s Worker’s Compensation certificate. She is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Problems with cats and dogs are ongoing in Paden City. What would you propose be done to work toward a solution?
Fox: Paden City has engaged the services of an animal control contractor to see to the removal the cat problem in our community. However, due to lack of facilities on the county level, this contractor has not been able to begin the process of removing these animals.This contractor has met with county commissioners to seek a remedy to this situation. The county commissions in Wetzel and Tyler counties need to look further into this problem and work with the local municipalities to find a way to either build another holding facility or to seek other solutions.Our community is not alone in this problem and if the various governmental units work together, I know that a solution can be found. I will be ready to meet with the county commission, local mayors, and animal control services to see that these animals are treated in a humane manner and the problems they create in our community are minimized. I have also appointed two members of council to look into the possibility of handling the dog concerns on a local level and to report their recommendations at a future council meeting.
Hochstrasser: We currently have ordinances in Paden City to deal with the animal issues. We need to enforce what we have on the books currently.
I believe we need to hire a part-time animal control officer. I don’t think it should be the responsibility of the police to catch and detain the animals, they have more important responsibilities.
I would also like to see an animal holding area where the animals could be humanely kept until their owners could be notified. Naturally we cannot keep the animals for long, extended times so we will need to find them homes or unfortunately have to look into euthanizing the animals we cannot place.
Slider: I believe in animal shelters. We also need a dog park. I do not believe in euthanizing cats or dogs, but in neutering or spaying these animals. Children can learn how to take care of cats and dogs. Animals do love people, even if people don’t care for them. I don’t believe the mayor should take credit for the park and pool when it was the park and pool commissioners who did all the work besides the people who help that had four-wheelers who keep it up yearly.
Do you have a plan to upgrade the streets in Paden City? If so, please explain.
Fox: Paden City already has in place a $2 street fee that every residence and business pays as part of their monthly charges through the utility billing department.This money is banked in a savings account, to be used for repaving the streets when the funds are sufficient to cover the expense.Since the amount generated by the monthly billing is only sufficient to pave several blocks each year, I have been looking for any grants that might be available for this purpose.The Sewer Rehabilitation Project will begin at some point this summer.Due to the digging in the streets at various points in the city, large scale paving work has been minimized until the sewer lines have been replaced and the trenches have been refilled.We do not want to waste money by paving a street, only to dig it up and then repave the same area.Once an area has been repaired, the city council will make recommendations on which streets will be paved.
Hochstrasser: We have an ordinance that states we are to pave one street a year. There is money that is placed in a fund for this purpose. We are planning to start a sewer project this summer and will be tearing up some of our streets.
I will be sending council members out with maps of the sewer project and they will determine what streets need to be paved that are not on the sewer plan. Council will compile a list of the worst streets and we will start a paving project.
Slider: The street can be upgraded with grants along with sweeping the streets. This would mean more jobs for workers to keep them up and I mean all streets should be kept up.
What can you do, through the mayor’s position, to help stimulate our economy, create more jobs, and attract new business to the area?
Fox: As mayor, I have worked with health care providers to bring medical services and personnel back to Paden City.I oversaw the move of the Paden City Development Authority into an office within the city building complex.This gives the organization clear identification as a city entity. I contacted a regional business development agency and had a complete description and many photographs of the former Corning plant placed on their Web site.This will help with the marketing of that facility for future occupancy.Paden City does not have a Business and Occupation Tax; we have comparably low monthly city utility bills and highly ranked primary and secondary schools in our city that make for a powerful incentive for industrial or retail businesses to locate in Paden City.I have been working with the Tyler County Development Authority who is assisting a local business in its attempt to expand their operation which will result in additional employment.I have been doing everything possible to let everyone know about this city and of the opportunities that exist and asking what we, as a city, can do to help them make Paden City their home.
Hochstrasser: As mayor of Paden City I will seek to secure grants to fund projects throughout the city.
I am currently talking to a company about setting up a pharmacy in our community.
I would like to also secure an ambulance service to our community.
I will be contacting fast food and buffet style restaurants to entice them to locate in Paden City.
I have been in contact with a couple of companies for estimates on enclosing our pool. I would like to see it utilized for swim parties and I would like to add exercise equipment to make it like a fitness center.
I would like to look into having flea markets and a farmer’s market at the park.
I would like to look at building a miniature golf course in the park.
We currently have old furnaces in the Corning building that could possibly be rehabilitated and used by a company that needs firing kiln capabilities.
We could look into starting an indoor flea market or possibly a manufacturer’s discount outlet at the old Corning building.
With forward thinking, hard work, and the residents’ help we could grow this city.
aSlider: I plan on going to the governor to ask for a grant to reopen the old Corning plant so we may make solar panels and wind turbines. I am also working on getting black lung clinics along with a pharmacy. To open the Corning plant would cost at least $100 million.
I believe in Paden City because I helped on the Cornerstone project. I went to Paden City High School and I still have a lot of cat pride.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday and close at 7:30 p.m. Polling places are as follows: First Ward, Paden City Complex, former middle school cafeteria; Second Ward, city building; Third Ward, Paden City Elementary School.